Because the Depression was a far more progressive period than the conformist 1950s, [Stahl’s film] comes across today as considerably more enlightened [than Sirk’s]. . . . thanks partly to the skill of Claudette Colbert, the humor of Stahl’s version is much warmer and less cynical, expressing the more inclusive humanism of the 30s, when, as critic Manny Farber once noted, “all shapes were legitimate”.
June 24, 2018